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June 21, 2014

Hezekiah's Tunnel, Dead Sea, Masada (Israel, Day 4/6)

11 June, Wednesday: Hezekiah's Tunnel, Dead Sea and Masada (8 out-of-the-car stops, including those three long interesting ones!)

 - Seen in passing: Armenian quarter; Zion Gate, Mt. of Olives, Kidron Valley (burial caves)

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Hezekiah's Tunnel: totally dark, little LED torches, came out at Pool of Siloam

City of David - original walls below. Where Jebusites lived.

Mount of Olives:

• cemetery, view of city of Jerusalem

•camel ride on "Kojak"! with Camel driver Ali.

• Muslim moque at peak of Mt. of Olives - site of Ascension? Just parched dirt, not a single flower or tree or plant.

- East Jerusalem: Muslim neighborhood. Saw Bethany on a hill in the West Bank

Good Samaritan memorial spot, mosaic museum on the Road to Jericho (Yeriho). Beautiful bougainvillea!

Bedouin boy Mohammed guided us on a little hike (keffiyehs on head) along ridge by gorge with St. Gregorius/George monastery (4th century AD - maybe at cave where Elijah found refuge), goats below in desert on other side; chalk, lime, flint rock. Saw man riding donkey.

Entered Jericho and drove through - didn't stop at archeological site - apparently hardly anything to see. Saw a sycamore tree like the one Zaccheus climbed in this city (not old enough to be the one). Chewed on carob pod.

- Passed cable car to Mt. Temptation (where they think Jesus was tempted.

Caves of Qumran! (+ "Two Moons" i.e. one reflected in the Dead Sea). 11 different caves.

Dead Sea is 430m BELOW sea level. 34°C. Cooler than normal. Blessed! Huge sea. Small fish in the fresh water area where fed by springs. Mineral beach. Mud applied and dried, then floating in sea like corks! Fun! Lunch: tuna wrap & banana ice shake. Saw Arnon Gorge across the Dead Sea in Jordan.

- Passed En Gedi Kibbutz (Mt. Jesse above)

Masada

 - Desert Safari on way back; Wadi (= dry river bed; in Arabic = river) Arugot - went through in Range Rover - amazing! 36°C (signs to Wadi David but we didn't go there)

Crazy dusty, steep rock road

Darna Moroccan restaurant for dinner in Jerusalem; outside; cat by table! Dessert: "Toubkal Delight" (sweet pastilla [phyllo pastry] with soy milk, orange blossom water, cinnamon and almonds - also honey?)

 

June 21, 2014 | Permalink

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